Following the very misunderstood Doctor Chris Bronklehampton in his various quests to better humanity. Not being shy of a few casualties on the way to said betterment. Mummies and magpies may be found, beehived assistants as well…
So the Story goes...
Ooops… All that farting was as exhausting as being in labour, thought the mummy.
(What!? no farting mummy icon )
Nonetheless, the mummy farted again… and this time there was a light smell of roses in the air…
Dr Bronkelhampton could not help but smile as she unwrapped the bandages and saw the peach smooth skin underneath. So far, so good. All was going to plan beautifully.
Veranassessee had departed ten minutes ago to greet the two latest arrivals off the plane, and more would be arriving on the island over the next few days and weeks. They would have to be handled with care. Dr Bronkelhampton hoped they would be willing to participate in the experiments, or “treatments”, once they fully appreciated the benefits. But, if not…., she shrugged, there was really no way off the island except by her own say so.
‘oliday? Another one? You went to Minehead last year with yer sister, whatchoo want another ‘oliday for?
I want to go to Tikfijikoo.
Dory’s stopover at Heathrow airport was longer than expected, due to the knock on effect of delays caused by the air traffic controllers strike in Paris. She bought coffee in a paper cup and went and sat in the cramped smoking room. A couple of middle aged overweight women were sitting opposite her, their chubby knees almost touching Dory’s in the unpleasant little nicotine yellow room.
Dory couldn’t help but listen to their conversation, and had to bite her lip on several occasions to prevent herself interjecting questions. Dory wanted to ask where this Tikfijikoo Island was. There was something about the sound of it that caught her attention, and she couldn’t quite put her finger on the strange feeling it gave her to hear the name.
The two women, who appeared to be named Shah and Glaw, were apparently on their way to an island to participate in some kind of experimental treatment, Dory gathered, organized by a Dr Bronklehampton. On hearing the name of the doctor, Dory had a series of images flit through her mind. One of them was of an impish looking redhead with an incredibly large head, doing the tango.
When the two plump ladies left the smoking room, Dory followed them. They bought magazines in the airport shop, and boiled sweets ‘in case their ears went’, and deliberated over sunscreen lotion, and then after some inaudible whispering, in which Dory heard only the words ‘treatment’ and ‘skin’, apparently decided against purchasing any of the skin care products.
Dory followed them into the public lavatories, and learned that ‘our Mavis’ would be joining them for the treatment, and listened to a great deal of rather unkind comments about ‘our Fred’ and his bullying ways. On the way out of the Ladies Room, the bleached blonde named Shah collided with a bag lady, at which point Dory saw a shower of bright blue sparks in her peripheral vision. The bag lady looked up and laughed at Shah and her friend and said ‘It matters not, my friend….HA! HA! HA!’, and winked at Dory as she shuffled past.
Dory followed the ladies to the baggage check-in desk. Yukailli Airlines. Dory had never heard of it; new airlines starting up all the time, she thought, and such silly names, like that Be My Baby one…what a daft name for an airline. Dory sauntered past, as she couldn’t really stand behind them without arousing suspicion. She was momentarily swallowed up in a swarm of Italians, there must have been two coachloads of them. By the time they’d passed her, Dory had made a decision. She would book a ticket to Tikfijikoo, hopefully on the same plane as Shah and Glaw.
That’s funny, she said out loud, It was right here!
She scanned the names above the row of desks….British Airways, Monarch, Air France, Qantas…..but no Yukailli Airlines. Dory asked at the Airport Information desk.
I’m sorry madam, there’s no airline of that name here, the young man behind the desk informed her, looking at her quizzically.
Dory opened and closed her mouth like a goldfish, and wondered for a moment if she had imagined it. Just then someone bumped into her shoulder, causing her to spin round. It was the bag lady she’d seen earlier in the Ladies room.
Leaving at Gate 57 and three quarters, the bag lady whispered, and winked conspiratorily.
Dory’s mouth fell open. She was about to say Oh now really, what is this, Harry Potter Airport? but something stopped her. Instead she asked, But what about tickets and baggage check? But the bag lady had gone.
Dr Bronkelhampton peeled off his long blonde wig to reveal a completely bald, and rather sweaty, head underneath. For the purposes of the experiment it had seemed best to pose as a woman, however soon there would be no need for such subterfuge. Provided all went to plan.
He gazed out the window at the ocean, the waves breaking gently on the golden sand. The tall coconut palms standing majestically. It was truly paradise. He slapped at his arm, if it weren’t for the heat and these damn mosquitoes!
Veranassessee should be returning soon with the first of the arrivals. He sighed happily.
A piercing scream broke his reverie. It had come from the laboratory, where the mummy, as he affectionately called his first guinea pig, or client, had been having another session under the Perlication Y3 Laser.
Veranassessee carried the box carefully, periodically checking to make sure it was securely fastened. He was sure Dr Bronkelhampton would be pleased with the initiative he’d shown. Buying 100 breeding pairs of Blue Bonnet Spiders was a stroke of genius, he thought. They were known to eat mosquitos, and Veranassessee (or V’ass for short) was confident that he’d made a wise decision.
Bathsheba didn’t feel even a bit guilty for not telling that fool V’ass about the habits of Blue Bonnets. Cash was cash; he’d paid handsomely for the spiders, and Bathsheba congratulated herself. She wasn’t creating V’ass’s reality after all, now was she? He had chosen to buy the Blue Bonnets; His choice. His choice too to pretend he was a man; Bathsheba wasn’t fooled for a moment, she knew V’ass was a woman underneath those manly clothes.
Bathsheba cackled, and set about attracting the next fool into her shop.
Valparaíso, Chile, November 1997
Cillian Mc Gaughran was finding that dying was longer than he expected. Since Fidelma’s death, twenty years from now, he would have vouched pain would get him on the other side quickly. But it was as if every object his wife had touched was letting him know of her presence. Perhaps they were holding him here…
He couldn’t wait to be reunited with his dear wife. Sixty six year-old wasn’t old enough to die for many people, but it was enough for him. The world was changing too fast. He decided he had to let go of all these objects. By and by, he had released every one of them… But one.
Of all of them, this one was very dear to him. An old family artifact that was handed down in the family for as long as he could remember. It was said to have been the property of a famous dancer during the Gold rush period and was rumoured to bring good luck… Lord knows how it came into the family…
It was dear to him because he had given it to Fidelma when she was having her chemotherapy, battling the blood cancer she had been diagnosed with. It looked wonderful on her delicate features. The wig had not aged since all these years.
It would surely finish him off to release that last object.
Cillian had heard some exuberant stories of a new company named eBargey where things were auctioned on the Internet. New technology he was finding a bit hard to follow the progress though he was not ignorant of it due to his years spent as a high rank officer in the US Army.
That could be a great way to release the wig. Auction it off, and see how high and how far away it could sell… Perhaps it would find a perfect match.
Chris Bronkelhampton had always loved to cross-dress since he was a child. He was a fine collector of wigs and had many lined up in his secret closet.
He had just managed to do a risqué plastic surgery operation on a kingpin that would grant him all he had ever dreamt of. He leaned comfortably on his chair, rubbing his hands gleefully.
Something on the computer screen caught his eye. On the newly auctioned items there was something that he wouldn’t have dreamt of acquiring in his wildest dreams.
On hearing the scream Dr Bronklehampton jumped up from what he was doing and rushed towards the laboratory where the Mummy, or Sasha Goldenwort, was having her fifth session under the laser. The only other person with any medical training of note on the island was Nurse Bellamy, who currently was down on the beach climbing coconut palms. A ridiculous pastime in Dr Bronklehampton’s opinion, however a young native boy had taught Nurse Bellamy something called the frog technique for climbing palm trees, and she now seemed to derive great pleasure from skimming up and down and bringing him back coconuts. The problem was, he reflected as he puffed down the corridor, that they had far too much time on this island with not enough to keep them occupied for some months now.
A smell of burning greeted Dr Bronklehampton as he rushed into the laboratory. Sasha was lying outstretched on the floor.
Dr Bronklehampton, medical expert that he was, knew at once something must have gone horribly wrong. He rang the alarm located on the wall by the door in the hope it would raise Nurse Bellamy, and rushed to Sasha’s side.
Sasha was dead.
He could see this immediately. Her skin, which just a short time ago was a beautiful and youthful smooth peachy colour, was now covered in purple weals.
He sat silently for a moment thinking, then calmly and deliberately walked to the laboratory door and locked it.
Nurse Bellamy was indeed halfway up a particularly tall palm tree when the alarm sounded. Oh bugger, she swore. By the time she arrived back at the treatment center, Dr Bronklehampton was reclining in his office. So sorry, he said with an apologetic smile, false alarm. Hope you weren’t inconvenienced. Anyway, good thing you are here, I believe two of the new guests have arrived, you might like to go and meet them.
Oh, he said casually , as though an afterthought, Sascha decided to leave early, while the hydroplane was here. She said to say goodbye to you. Yes, she is absolutely delighted with the results of her treatment.
Chris! you look terrible! Nurse Bellamy, momentarily startled by Dr Bronklehampton’s unkempt appearance, lapsed into first name basis. Dr Bronklehampton always insisted that a certain level of protocol be observed, except in their more intimate moments of course.
But today he did not even seem to notice her small indiscretion. Nurse Bellamy was perplexed.
I’ll bring you a nice glass of warm coconut milk, and you’ll be right as rain, she said hopefully. As she turned to go a bandaged figure propped up against the wall caught her eye. The apparition was made even more surreal by the addition of a bright yellow wig on it’s head. She screamed, clutching her hand to her bosom.
Oh my God!, what is it! she exclaimed in startled surprise.
A Mummy of course, what does it look like? answered Dr Bronklehamptom in a listless voice.
Chris Bronklehampton stared at the Mummy, and wondered how things could have gone so horribly wrong. All he had ever wanted was to do something good for mankind. Well that isn’t quite true, Chris is it, hmmm really? Weren’t you after a bit of fame and fortune as well?
You won’t get away with this, you know, said the Mummy.
Veranassessee (V’ass) Eloha, swimming like a naiad in the waves of the sapphire sea bordering the island of Tikfijikoo, was back in a few powerful strokes on the wooden planks of the pier from which she had just fallen.
Trained in many martial arts and in the art of concealing her emotions, she effortlessly managed to maintain a perfect composure despite the fact that this unexpected moment of inattention may have cost the loss of the precious box of rare Blue Bonnet spiders —the venom of which was needed for the good success of the “treatments”.
Sharon and Gloria, still cackling unceasingly, thanked Armando, the pilot of the seaplane, who had entertained them no end with his stories of mysterious wreckages and lost aircrafts.
Now they’d just landed on this paradisaic island, and a gorgeous woman dripping in water was extending them a firm hand, greeting them.
Al was wondering who had jinxed his last entry in the play, that he had to write twice, since some invisible mischievous hand had just made him lose the first in the /dev/null dimension.
Good thing the Sumafairies bent over his crib had been gifting him with a good memory…
— Welcome at Tikfijikoo, where your kewlest dreams come troo.
V’ass was satisfied. Though, most of the box had been lost, she had managed to save two couples of spiders, which would be enough for the two turkeys.
As for the remaining ones, let’s just hope they’re all dead and drowned.
When Veranassessee entered the secret facility with Gloria and Sharon, her blood congealed in her veins.
Patient 4 had escaped the safety straitjacket and was holding the doctor at paper-clip point.
Patient 4, was one of the first six patients they’d treated on the island, an awful miscarriage… Of the six, all had developed strong reactions to the medication especially as they had not yet found the appropriate dosage for the blue spider venom. Some had developed extra appendices, most had been hideously disfigured, and all of them had gone bonkers.
“Four” was the last alive of them all, by an inexplicable combination of luck and genetics, and by far the most dangerous one. Apparently, apart from madness, the venom had gifted “Four” with supra-human velocity and strength. It was what had kept that mad doctor from “erasing” that mistake, so sure he could find some interesting way of making profit out of that prodigious lucky find.
But now that was compromising everything…
V’ass pushed the two chatty old ladies in a broom-closet behind with a wink Be right back ladies!
Sharon and Gloria giggled in the small room, wondering about the unexpected sense of hospitality of the people of that resort. All was so funny and exciting since they’d decided to come to that place.
— Four! Release the doc’!
— Don’t move an inch closer or I’ll kill him!
— You have nowhere to go Four, backups will be here any minute now…
— One second is all I need to snap his neck!
— No! Dr. Chris Bronklehampton was moaning
— You, stay still, the mummified Four snapped to the panting doctor.
Quicker than light, V’ass shot a powerful sedative into the arm of the mummy. Four winced, drawing the dart out of the arm, crushing the fluffy fletchings between the fingers. Quickly assessing chances to escape, Four sent the doctor flying at the other side of the room, in a powerful swing of the arm, and jumped through the window in a formidable sound of smashed glass, disappearing into the jungle.
Chris, I demand you tell me what’s going on! What was that … that thing! Nurse Bellamy was visibly upset, her cheeks flushed, her voice tremulous. She had no idea what had just happened, but she suspected that even coconut milk might not make it better this time.
Are you going to tell her or do I have to do it? asked Veranassessee. Because if you can pull yourself together I have a couple of guests locked in a closet, and now a mummy on the run to deal with! It had been a tiring day and Veranassessee was furious.
V’ass what’s going on, Chris, will someone please tell me ….!
I will tell her Veranassessee. Dr Bronkelhampton slumped in his chair and wondered where to start. A plan was beginning to form in his head. V’ass had always said Nurse Bellamy should be told the truth, now it seems that, as usual, she was right. But of course, he smiled to himself, as Dr Lemane, his erudite Professor at medical school had always said, there are many sniggly variations of one truth. Well, it was something along those lines he said anyway.
Oh this is the bees knees! what do you reckon about this room then Sha? Do you think the treatment has started?
Perhaps it is special beauty air in here. It smells different don’t it?
They both breathed deeply. Oh Yes, Yes, YES! giggled Glor
It’s a bit odd though don’t you think? I mean nothing like what I was thinking.
The mummy headed towards the dense bush, her brain was foggy but she knew she had to find cover. Her limbs felt heavy. Keep going, just keep going …
Quite right, she must my little poppet, soothed Dr Bronkelhampton, stroking Nurse Bellamy’s hair gently, and thinking quickly. But for now, keep it to yourself. It is a very delicate matter. Can you do that my sweet one? Just for me?
Oh yes Chris! whatever you think best my my darling.
Nearly two months… Two months since they had all received the exciting email from that Dr. Bronklehampton and had decided to take a leap of faith.
As a matter of fact, they had taken that leap of faith just before, and it was just a… “synchronistic confirmation that they were heading in the right direction”, that’s what old Harry had said… Or was it Joe? No, that was surely Harry.
Fred wasn’t very pleased.
Bored by all the variations of dominoes and dices games at their third-age club, the three inseparable ladies had decided, in a bout of delightful unreasonableness, to embrace all that modern technology had to offer. Sharon and Gloria, being the devil-may-care as they were, got their computer first. Mavis had to convince Fred that he could make his horse-racing bets with that computer without having to go to the city, now that the last pub in the village wasn’t taking bets any longer… and even play poker! she’d said, bluffing so vehemently that she’d almost blushed in shame for fear of being wrong. But that last argument had convinced old Fred. And now, she was connected too. A second-hand computer, with a dusty old keyboard, but she’d let it soak a night in a soapy basin, and it was now shiny as a brand-new one. Except that it now kept behaving strangely…
In their club, they could boast that now they were connected all over the word, and all the old parakeets of the club had almost choked over their tea when they had heard all of what they had discovered.
Sharon had won most of the glaring bedazzlement. Wearing newly bought sunglasses, she’d said whispering like a conspirator that she had searched her name on a website and she had seen more than 7 million pages talking of her! Imagine! More than seven million people talking of her! And she had not known she was so famous… Hence the sunglasses, she’d added with a wink… there were probably a slew of paparazzi hidden somewhere to discover all that was to know about her… But you can’t fool dear ol’ Sharon Stone.
Gloria Fowles had been gathering almost 4,000 pages… But well, she had not the charismatic aura of Shah.
And Mavis Staples had got a hefty 470,000 pages!… Of course, she had not told Fred, who was already so paranoid about all of this stuff. When they had received the machine, he was convinced there were miniature cameras and transponders from the MI6 inside the PC and had spent hours disassembling and reassembling it.
Very soon after they had registered for their free email address (the reseller had explained patiently that she couldn’t electrocute herself while licking the envelop), the next day to be precise, at 5:33 —that was the hour when Mavis had finished her routine dusting and breakfast preparing for Fred, and just before taking Gulp, the dog for a news reading (that was what Sha was saying “butt sniffing for dogs, is like news reading for us”), she had granted herself a little peek into the emailbox— she had seen something in the recipe folder.
She wasn’t sure why they had called that folder “meat” or “ham”… no that wasn’t “ham”… “SPAM” more like it… Anyway, in the recipes folder, she’d received her first email. She’d called eagerly Sha and Glo, and they had received it too, and had even answered it already, as they had spent the all night “surfing” as they said — which was a bit difficult for Sharon with her sunglasses in the dark.
All three of them had received a free coupon for a massage and therapeutic rejuvenating treatments (and possibly some bonus organ enlargements free of charge) in Tikfijikoo Island!
Well, now Mavis was ready to go too, now that Fred had been mollified and she’d gathered the money for the trip.
In a sense, that was good she’d not received anything yet from Sha and Glo, it would allow her to imagine the wildest things!
Number Four was dreaming, at least it was what he was feeling. The quality of his vision was blurred and he couldn’t really focus on details. He was in a dark room with another man. Despite the darkness, he could clearly see that the man was very pale. There was a third man, mad eyes and hysterical laugh, and a woman.
The man mad was speaking and assigning them a mission. It was about… skulls? Crystal skulls
All of a sudden his hearing was crystal clear. He had heard the name of the woman… Carla… He was asking her to go and find a Viscountess, find the skull…
Then he turned to the pale man.
“Robert, my dear Robber, hinhinhin! I trust you with the Hawaiian witch. Be careful she’s dangerous and very powerful. Don’t misjudge her words or her deeds. Never accept anything, be it food or liquid. Don’t let them touch you either. But I know you already know that. hinhinhin!!!”
His horse-like laugh was unnerving, and Number Four was so excited, maybe he could learn his own name… why was it so slow!? He was looking at the Baron, watching him laugh showing his immense teeth and gum! Number Four almost lost his grip to the dream imagery.
Breathe he told himself
Breathe… Yes, Breathe deeply, YES, YES…
The Baron had finished laughing and was smiling like a vulture.
When he turned his face toward Number Four, his eyes were swirling like hell, blazing hot red light…
“My dear one 8-}, to you I trust the most difficult one… My old mad friend on his foolish Island. He has a foolish project, and you’ll serve as a guinea pig…”
Number Four felt a strong twinge, his dream eye was blinking out of control.
The Baron’s voice was thunderous and other dimensional.
“hinhinhin! My dear Claude……………………”
The sound of his name was enough, enough of this insanity… all his memory was accessible now, and he began to feel the rage gather inside of him.
He was fully awake now. He was in the middle of a nest, several birds were crying around, trying to raise the alarm.
He gathered his will and released it at once in a fury.
A small impish gnomesque figure wearing a black and white tunic adorned with a silver blazon was standing in front of Claude, formerly known as Number Four.
Claude was reading to fight, and extricate himself of that stinky situation, starting to feel the powerful strength the treatment had given him and feeling virtually unstoppable.
Considering that such a small individual, especially unarmed, wasn’t much of a threat, he stopped in his track, wondering if that was part of a subtle stratagem.
— What do you want?
— We do not want you harm, stranger. We are aware of the experiments which have been done on you, and we are sorry for what has been done…
— Oh, don’t be, I feel better than I’ve been in ages
— Yes, we saw that, though we are not that sure that the treatment effects are permanent either…
— Not permanent? What have you done to me?
— Nothing. There is nothing to fear from us, we are peaceful. We are a wing of a group of individuals whose primary skills lay in robbing. We are mostly hired to retrieve precious possessions in great discretion and you could consider yourself lucky to have seen us in our true form.
— Us? How many are you?
— A few… We gave you a mixture of plants and magnetite powder to help you stabilize your situation, apparently it has succeeded.
— Mmm, perhaps yes…
— Another thing you probably want to know before we help you get rid of these bandages if you want. During your sleep, you muttered lots of things, one of which was a name: “Sasha”.
— Yes. I’m afraid we believe that the individual you were calling is dead. We monitored the doctor’s assistant when she disposed of the body. It was not pretty. I thought you should know.
Robbers they say… Hope we’re not after the same thing…
Stupid fool, she said. What a bloody mess you are in now.
I know, it’s all gone horribly wrong really. What shall I do?
Sasha snorted. What! you are asking me? I let you perform your stupid untested experiments on me, clearly I am not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. No, don’t ask me for advise, I see my main mission in life, oops sorry in death that should be, is to haunt you for the rest of your sad little life.
Don’t be hard on yourself Sasha, and in a way you died for a noble cause. Others won’t have to suffer the way you did.
Oh Bugger off, said Sasha
Veranassessee wished she had thought to ask her boss to remind her what Plan B was. It had sounded good at the time, but now she found herself somewhat at a loss. She sighed. Sometimes she felt like chucking all this secret agent business in and marrying her devoted boyfriend, Mahiliki, on the neighboring island of Fukitupi.
Well she was just going to have to play it by ear!
My God, what the fuck is that?
Veranassessee sighed, seeing the two plump lady on top of one another, lying sprawled all fours on the ground, with the door blown out in shards.
Untie me Gabriele, so that I can ask for the nurse’s help. she said reluctantly to her partner, seeing with a bit of dolefulness, the effect of their strange erotic games already waning off.
— Are you alright ladies?
— Oh, I guess so, Vessie, sorry to have interrupted, we thought…
— Yes, yes… Veranassessee was feeling oddly detached from the women’s babbled and muddled excuses, and even more detached from her own sloppy appearance.
All she could think at the moment was that she seemed fated to marry Mahiliki, and get loads of children on Fukitupi, a doom that hovered on her head like a rapacious magpie over a precious gemstone…
Good thing she was so gorgeous she would look great even wearing a potatoes sack. Sure Gabriele had noticed that already…
Arch-Agent Gabriele came back, telling her he had called nurse Bellamy on the intercom, and she would be here in a minute.
I’ll go to my room dear, we’ll talk later about Barbella. he said casually, a convenient code for “plan B” between them two.
Professional as he was, he had also, V’ass noticed, as the women were untangling themselves, made the box and the silky rope very stealthily disappear.
Sure, they would have more time in the evening. But now, she noticed she’d been a bit too lax on the security around the new guests. Fine that Dr Bronkelhampton’s recommendations were to have the patients free for the first months of their treatments (after all, the more drastic transformations never occurred before the thirteenth week), but she had to be more careful about them.
She could not have them compromise “plan B”.
B as Barbella… or rather…
B as Bee-hive.
— Did you hear like me, Glo?
— I think so, Sha…
— What’s that Barbiella, Glo?
— Barbella, Sha, barbella, like barbell… Could be a woman’s name…
— Poor Vessie seemed so annoyed by the incident…
— Yes Sha, we have to help her somewhat, if we want her to forgive us
— Sure, we’ll find something to do, Glo.
— Yes… I don’t like that Barbella. Perhaps it’s the man’s…
— Yes, Sha, Gabriele —does sound Italian, doesn’t it?
— I was about to tell you Glo…
— Perhaps that’s Gabriele’s wife…
— Or some kinky sadomasochistic practice we never heard of…
— Rhooo, Sha, chuckled Gloria, who was thinking of Veranassessee’s dress and wrists tying games…
Why you supercilious little prout! said the Mummy
Steady on Sasha, I don’t think I deserve that. I am a great believer in personal choice. You chose to be part of my experiments didn’t you? Did anyone force you to come here? His voice started to raise petulently. Are you a victim Sasha? Just because one small thing went wrong, an accident, no more and no less.
If it wasn’t for these damn bandages I would laugh.
Dr Bronkelhampton threw his hands in the air in vexation. Try and see the big picture Sasha dear. How many times have I told you now? My God we have been through this over and over again. Are you listening Sasha? All you can think about is yourself and your own petty little life. You are dead, you need to accept this and move on.
Dr Bronkelhampton? Nurse Bellamy tapped lightly on the office door, and entered cautiously. She could hear Chris talking to himself, again. It was nothing new, he spent hours closeted in his office lately. Though today she started in shocked surprise when she saw him, the yellow wig from the early days of the clinic was perched precariously on top of his bald head, garish make-up roughly applied, yet not hiding the dark blue circles under his blood-shot eyes.
He glared at her. Can you not see I am with a client, Nurse Bellamy?
She cast her eyes reflexively around the small office, although she did not need to look. It was bare save for a pot plant and that dreadful mummy propped up in the corner of the room.
I am worried about you, Chris.
He slammed his fist on the desk and turned away from her, staring moodily out the window.
Nurse Bellamy’s face reddened with emotion, she struggled to hold back her tears as all the anxiety of the last week threatened to overwhelm her. She reminded herself of the words of her dear nursing tutor Edwardo Lemenox. Always remember your calling as a nurse. When the road seems difficult, take a deep breath and remind yourself you are perfect.
She took a deep breath.
I am sorry, I mean Dr Bronkelhampton … I need to inform you that three new clients are expected tomorrow …. and we have two here waiting for their treatment to start … and I can’t entertain them for much longer, they are getting restless. Veranassessee is up to no good, and, Nurse Bellamy pursed her lips for a moment in annoyance .. and now she has a gentleman friend here.
Dr Bronkelhampton turned towards her quickly, the wig falling off in the process, She has a gentleman friend? Here on the island? Who?
Nurse Bellamy’s face reddened even more as she remembered her encounter with the drop-dead gorgeous stranger, the way he had looked into her eyes as he asked where he might find Veranassessee, goodness, she had nearly dropped her coconuts.
The was wondering where it was.
No sky, no crap.
A strange smell of fish though, and her bandages were too old and dry to be the cause of it.
had the weird impression of someone talking in the distance, but she couldn’t feel its head and thus couldn’t turn it to the voice.
Veranassessee was not in a happy mood.
The sight earlier in the day of Dr Bronkelhampton wearing his yellow wig, a bright pink dress which was several sizes too large for him, and carrying a chinese porcelain doll had disturbed her profoundly. She sighed, remembering how he had glared at her suspiciously and muttered to the doll he was holding in front of him as though it were some sort of a shield.
He has totally lost it, but what to do?
She had also spent much of the morning trying to avoid Sha and Glor. The pair seemed rather distressed about something … a missing dress was it? Veranassessee shook her head in annoyance. Good grief! She had neither the time nor the patience to deal with another of their foolish and pitiful concerns.
Perhaps I should tell those stupid nincompoops that to get hit on the head with a coconut is another special beauty treatment.
To top it off, Agent Gabriel kept slipping into her thoughts in a most disconcerting and bothersome manner. And where the hell is he anyway? she thought miserably, cringing at the memory of their last encounter. Avoiding me, no doubt.
Bugger! she swore, suddenly remembering the arrival of the new guests and feeling a growing sense of foreboding.
Twenty minutes later the disturbing vision of a fat woman in a tiny pink bikini waving at her gleefully did nothing to dispel her concerns.EricKeymaster
It had been more than a week now that Claude had broken loose from one captivity to fall into another.
Not that this gang of strange shape-shifting magpie beings seemed to consider him a captive, rather an impromptu host that they felt obliged to take care of. But Claude wasn’t duped one moment.
His precedent prison on Tikfijikoo had been relatively easy to break out from, thanks to that unasked for gift of preternatural strength he had gained from the experiments he had be subjected to. Actually, had he not almost been driven mad from pain, he would have been on the loose earlier. Thank the Magpies for his recovered sanity…
Security on the island facility wasn’t the highest and most difficult he had been confronted to. They seemed to consider the relative isolation of the island and its deadly sharp coral reef encircling it their main asset in keeping their experiments clear from outside interferences.
Claude snapped back from his thoughts and gazed fixedly at a tender green sprout at his feet while humming a nursery rhyme. An effective trick.
He had to be more cautious… He knew they could read his surface thoughts…
Apparently, he could come and go as pleased him, but as he had tried to find his way back to the island facility, he had discovered that the landscape was changing each time he felt close to it. And soon enough, he was finding himself back to the hidden settlement. He knew enough to suspect his affable alien hosts of playing tricks on his mind to keep him in check. Perhaps they were even bending space around their settlement, as far as he knew…
Not intrusive, and yet not a very different treatment from the inhumane experiments. Except he had no mummy bandages this time…
Know thy foe so went the adage, and Claude was determined to know enough about his new captors to escape and complete his mission.
From what he was guessing, as they had not killed him, they probably would release him (if he was lucky) as soon as their mission would be completed —a mission which was most probably the same as his own. Snatching the crystal skull he knew was there somewhere. He could sense they were after it too.
He was wondering who had hired them to retrieve the thing. Obviously they were not from the common lot of thieves, most certainly not even from this planet, and anyone who had hired them must have been in dire need of the thing.
He had been told by the Baron that the crystals were storing ancient vast knowledge and that accessing it had been only possible since a few decades, actually since the discovery of coherent beams of light (laser). But even accessed, the information stored remained vastly incomprehensible, and deciphering it could take another millennium without appropriate knowledge of its holographic proprieties.
The Baron had told humanity was like a child being given a box of books on relativity… And even the mad transvestite doctor was only toying with the tip of an immense iceberg.
Those Magpies were far more advanced, Claude could see it clearly, and he wondered how he could outdo them, if that was possible. Quite frankly he didn’t know why they had not yet retrieved it. Perhaps they were having trouble locating it too…
That would mean he still had a head start, however short.
A faint barking sound seemed to echo in his head… It was apparently coming from… the gnarled trunk of an old majestic tree… Whispers seemed to come from it too, like a child talking with an adult, and whispers around them…
The tree seemed wide enough for him to enter into the biggest crack of its bark…
Could it be one of their secret entrances and exits? There had to be coordinate points were they could get out of this warped space… What was he risking to try?
After a look in her mirror, Patricia M knew she was perfect.
Her honey blond hair was enhancing the fascinating power of her green copper gaze.
She pouted outrageously and put some more lip gloss on. Yes, she was highly satisfied with her appearance.
She stretched her short tightly fitting deep pink dress and admired her silhouette. A surge of excitation filling up her body.
She was ready to do her next move.